Generating leads is made easier today through social media. It is an interesting tool to pull business leads. It is the best way to hunt, and engage targeted prospects. Around 85 percent of marketers have agreed that their business has been boosted due to social media after using it for three years or longer.
What is leads generation? It is collecting information about target audience and prospect which are then passed on to the sales team. There are different ways to collect leads through social media. I am sharing 6 ideas with you about generating leads through social media.
Advertising on Social Media
As compared to normal social media posts, promoted social media posts reaches the exact and wider target audience. It can be considered as an advanced targeting tool, while normal social media posts target limited audience based on geography and certain groups.
Many marketers love Facebook for its unique quality of being able to target people according to their interest. It is a huge platform and from which you can target people according to their interests. For example, people who love hip hop music, people who love sci-fiction, etc. It lets you target audiences according to their behavior, like their purchasing power and donations.
As a professional platform it is best to target your customer according to specific companies or employees. You can target people on the basis of the industry they work in, their designation, seniority, where he works, or how big is the company.
It leads to you targeting people based on their network or that of your own. You can target people who have a similar follower base as yours. It is a great way to target audience.
This way you can target people who fit the mold of your prospects for business. When someone clicks on your ad or clicks on the content that can be tagged as a lead in your CRM system. After which someone from your sales team can contact them.
Social media advertising works just like the lead generation method that uses the tools of contests and content. You may target a specific audience on Facebook or specific companies on LinkedIn through a B2B white paper. Gated content (white papers and case studies) along with audience targeting makes social media advertising an effective tool to get the kind of audience you want.
Promote Gated Content
This is a famous method of generating leads along with social media. It is a method by which you can share content with people only when they share information about them like name and email ID.
The right way to promote content via gated method is to promote a specific piece of content on social channels, have a webinar or white paper shared with audience preferably a lengthy piece of content. When someone clicks the link on Facebook or Twitter they reach a landing page. There is a need that people who want to access this content have to key in their details. So, this way a lot of casual visitors will get eliminated. There are audiences who know that they will be targeted for sales purpose in spite of that they will give their true information.
These are the people who believe that this content will help them at work or they are passionate about the subject the content is about. This way you weed off unlikely buyers and this provides your sales team with quality leads. This is the best way to generate quality leads through social media and collect detailed information about your target audience.
Contests lets you engage with your potential audiences and gather useful information about them which you can provide to your sales team. You got to make the incentive that relates to your product. Anyone will enter into a contest that offers a free trip to Singapore or a free phone. But the information of that customer is of no use to your sales team.
You should not waste time of your team by flooding them with contest leads that are not helpful. Your contests should contain offerings that you would offer customers anyways.
Instead you should run a contest that offers a free trial of your product or you can upgrade the customer to a higher tier of your service. These people who enter contests will be genuinely interested in the offering. You got to decide how the audience on social media would enter the contest:
Participate by Re-tweeting, Sharing, Following or Liking
This can get you lot of entries but, it gives information that is less valuable for lead generation as the information that you get it something that is available publicly through their profile.
Facebook Algorithms Will Punish Posts that Asks for Likes and Shares Explicitly.
Don’t force people to click through a social message to reach the landing page or form, as that will decrease the entries. But, those who fill the form are the ones who are really interested in you offerings. In addition to contact information ask about their business, business size, interests in the product and industry, etc. yes, true adding fields may decrease the entries but, it would be a qualified lead for sure. You can opt for landing pages with fewer fields and others with more and test what works best for your audience.
Hangout and Webinar
When you host a Google+ hangout you get in touch with prospects directly. You can limit hangout to few people or it can be opened to anyone online. People need to register in advance if you decide to limit the audience. This is different from gated content as it gives a real time experience to them; it is not about connecting to something that already exists. This way you are immediately connected to your audience and then you use this direct connection to know more about them and you can pitch your business too.
You can focus on inviting audience in hangouts that fit your lead generation needs. When the hangout is focused on your product it would pull people who are interested in it. It will attract a small pool of people but, it creates a database that is useful for your sales team. Customer service sessions in hangout are also extremely useful. When the hangout session is less about the product and there are experts who are discussing some topic it will attract many people but, it will not market your product or service.
Whatever the focus of hangout, make sure that this is an opportunity to lead participants to your website, landing pages, contest or forms of gated content. The more your audience are getting to the touch points of your company, better the lead generation. Hangout may give limited amount of information about the lead but if you lead them to the gated content you can pull more information about them.
When you finish the hangout it is uploaded to YouTube. Make sure the video highlights description that is relevant to the content mentioned.
Don’t be hesitant in reaching out to participants after the hangout. Thank them for participation and guide them to the required content, which might be valuable to them and encourage them to reach your team in case they have any questions. This effort after the Hangout can get you more leads than you expect.
Social Media Listening
Targeted listening is a great tactic. Social media listening is about creating correct listening rules, Twitter search streams and lists that help you participate in Facebook or LinkedIn groups. This method cannot gather much information about prospects as the other lead generation tactics. But, this puts you directly in contact with people who buy and use your products or services.
It gives you an insight about what your audience think about your industry, business and competition.
You should create search steams for any of the social media message that mention your products or brand. You should be able to respond immediately anytime a customer enquires about your business. And when the interaction builds up you can pass on this contact with your sales person.
When you include search steams of broader industry, it may reveal audience that are interested in what services you provide. When you identify such prospects treat them like normal leads. Pass on their information to your sales team.
Twitter chats are much more active way of finding prospects as compared to search streams. Participate in chats that are relevant to your business and follow people who are a part of that chat. Engage them on the same lines as your chat and also continue the conversation once it is over. People won’t like it if you approach them without any context, just out of the blue. Engage them in a forum as it is the best way to break the ice and make people receptive to your business.
What can be done is that you host a Twitter chat and attract prospects who can participate in the conversation. If the chat is relevant they won’t get distracted and leave.
Geo Targeting the Search
Lot of businesses demand connecting with local audience, creating awareness about the product and expanding consumer base. There are companies that geo target their posts on social media and advertisements, in order to know clients that are interested in your business. But, in reality only a few businesses take advantage of geo targeting.
Hootsuite allows you to type a keyword in its search option and see Tweets nearby. Hootlet Chrome extension is another tool for geo targeted search. You can type the address of your business and then you will find Tweets from anyone who is within 500 meters to your address. This way you connect people who live in your neighborhood and invite them for business.
Thus, with this type of geo targeted searches on social media your sales team can have two types of information: the location of the prospective customer and their interest in your product or service. With this information they can easily approach them on social media and convert them into customers.
Twitter chats, LinkedIn and Facebook groups are great platforms to drive and engage audiences. On the basic level track those who are engaging in the content you post on social media and treat these individual as prospects. Listen to them, engage and follow up. These steps create the huge impact that you wish to make. Use these tools and create an impact.